Kane Hodder. If you’re a horror fan, then hearing that name INSTANTLY places images of Jason Voorhees, Victor Crowley and quite a few other monsters and characters into your mind. He’s an important figure to slasher history, and definitely a fan favorite in the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise (he played the hockey mask-wearing character for four films), not to mention being the ONLY actor to portray Victor Crowley in the HATCHET films. We were lucky enough to speak with Kane recently, to talk about HATCHET III, the supposed final entry into the series, along with his thoughts on portraying two iconic film monsters. Read on!
When you ask fans who their favorite Jason is, 9 out of 10 of them will say “Kane Hodder”, and obviously when Victor Crowley comes up, you’re the only person to have played him, how does it feel to have played not one, but TWO slasher iconic characters?
Well, obviously I feel very fortunate, especially since I came into play a character (Jason Voorhees) that was known around the world already. When that happened, I felt incredibly lucky, and wanted to do everything I could to do the character justice. Fortunately, people responded to what I did, and the fans liked it, so I stuck around for three movies after that one. So I felt very fortunate, and by the way, as long as we’re talking about it, I owe a HUGE amount of my success to the fans. Without their opinions on my work, I would’ve have had the chance to play the character as long as I did, and in turn probably wouldn’t have played Victor. I do appreciate the fans, always have, and I’ve always said that…I realize that I’m in the position that I’m in because of the fans. I feel incredibly proud to be known for a couple of characters that people really like…and I love the violent stuff, so…(laughs), I guess it’s perfect.
When you first put on the Crowley makeup and suit in the first HATCHET, did you expect it to lead to two sequels and a pretty fanatic fanbase as well?
Adam Green had always planned, since the beginning, to not tell his whole story in the first film. Now that may have been wishful thinking at the time, but he assumed that he would be able to do a second and third film and that he would tell the entire story over the course of those three movies, instead of just doing one and saying “oh this is great, people love it, now what do I do?”. He had always planned on three films, so I had always anticipated doing more. When doing the first film, are you sure that it’s going to happen, of course not, but you certainly hope that’s the case. If you do make a movie that the fans like, then you’re always in a good position to continue, and I’m just glad that it was always planned that way.
HATCHET III is such a bigger movie, scope and action-wise, and feels different than the first two. When you were approached to do the third film, did you decide to play Victor differently?, He seems much more calculated this time around.
Over the course of the three films, I did, in my mind, have a plan for Victor. In the first film, when you first see him, I thought, and Adam agreed, that Victor should be very twitch-y and nervous looking…very unpredictable. Now, he’s still unpredictable, but I’ve toned down the twitching, and the nervous look. In my mind, Victor’s getting used to this “murderous rage” of his, and getting more comfortable doing the things that he’s doing. By the third film, I really wanted it to feel like he’s really settled into this violence and almost enjoying it, instead of just doing it as a defense mechanism like he did in the first one. I don’t know if it came across that way, but that’s how I approached it.
Oh yeah, definitely, it’s very noticeable. In the last few years, you’ve “taken off the mask”, so to speak, and played roles that don’t require you to be the monster with tons of makeup on, do you approach those roles different than you would with playing Jason or Victor? Do you prefer one type of role over the other?
I can’t say I prefer one over the other, because they’re so drastically different. It seems easier when you have extensive prosthetics and even sometimes a mask over that, but you have to present yourself as scary without your voice or your face, it’s a huge challenge to look scary that way just by the way you stand and by the way that you move. Once you get used to being scary in that manner, then you play a character than can talk, and you have to be scary using your face, it’s kind of like “Wow, that’s quite a bit easier!”. (Laughs). I’m not saying that it is, but that’s an element that comes into your mind, “wow, I have a lot more tools now”. Obviously in the prosthetics and mask, you have to do things in a bigger way, to make them read, particularly facial expressions if it’s just in makeup. When you play a character without makeup, you can do a lot more subtle things, and it’s a completely different process. I love both of them. I love doing the dialogue, and the emotional stuff, and it’s because of Adam Green that I’m given the shot to DO the emotional stuff.
Yeah totally. Like I said earlier, a lot of people associate you with your characters in the HATCHET and FRIDAY THE 13TH films, so it was definitely a shock to see your comedic roles in CHILLERAMA and now HOLLISTON. How was it trying something COMPLETELY different, and are you interested in pursuing more comedic roles like those?
Yes I am, and once again, it goes back to Adam Green. He’s the one who gave me a shot to do something emotional, when I played Victor’s father in the first HATCHET movie. That opened the doors for me, because then people said “wait a minute, he can do stuff besides just kill people…”. In fact, every time I do a movie with Adam, he has me do something that I never expected to do on film. With CHILLERAMA, I NEVER thought that I would dance, and he had me dance. I had a sex scene in HATCHET II, and I mean, you play killers, you never anticipate having a love scene, so that was another angle that he gave me. With the comedy stuff, I’ve always loved doing that, but because of what I was already known for, nobody ever gave me that opportunity. It’s ironic, I leave this Saturday to start Monday, on a film in Louisiana, that was written and is being directed by John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville) that IS a comedy/horror movie. He was Bo Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard year ago, which I used to do stunts on. He wrote a brilliant script that incorporates horror and comedy, and I am very excited to do that because the other cast members are R.A. Mihailoff from TEXAS CHAINSAW III, Bill Moseley(TCM 2, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS), Don Shanks, who was Michael Myers in one of the HALLOWEEN movies, and Roddy Piper. We all know each other already, so the chemistry is going to be really good, and it’s a great script, so I’m really looking forward to doing that. There’s quite a bit of comedy involved.
That sounds like a lot of fun. Last year, you released your book, UNMASKED. How was the experience of going through your life for the book? Would you ever consider doing another book later down the road?
I pretty much told my whole story, so I don’t know if that type of book would happen again. It was actually very therapeutic for me, because I talked about things, for those of who have read it, that are very difficult subjects to talk about. It really helped me to get over some of that stuff. By talking about it, the bullying that happened, the burn injury, it was very therapeutic for me. I’ve come to be told that a lot of people who have read the book, that it has inspired them to talk about stuff that happened to them when they were young, that they had never told anyone about. So, it was good for me, and good for some other people as well.
Yeah, it’s a great book, I picked it up right away. The horror genre has changed throughout the years, with you being one of the mainstays through that. What is it, in your opinion, that helps the genre continue to strive and endure those changes?
There are a lot of creative writers in that field, and they keep coming up with new ways to approach horror, and angles that always keep people interested in them. I’ve been a horror fan my whole life, so I’m always interested to see what people are going to come up with next…that next “new” story. I really enjoyed it when THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT came out, and when PARANORMAL ACTIVITY happened, because they were new angles to horror. I love it when someone creates a whole new sub-culture of horror.
Awesome. Well Kane, it’s been great talking to you, we definitely appreciate your time. HATCHET III was great, thanks a lot!
Hey, no problem Jerry, I really appreciate it.
HATCHET III is available on VOD and in limited theaters NOW via Dark Sky Films.